|Publication number||US8151971 B2|
|Application number||US 12/225,366|
|Publication date||Apr 10, 2012|
|Filing date||Mar 16, 2007|
|Priority date||Mar 20, 2006|
|Also published as||CA2646434A1, CA2646434C, DE602007006455D1, EP2001772A1, EP2001772B1, US20090166154, WO2007108032A1|
|Publication number||12225366, 225366, PCT/2007/191, PCT/IT/2007/000191, PCT/IT/2007/00191, PCT/IT/7/000191, PCT/IT/7/00191, PCT/IT2007/000191, PCT/IT2007/00191, PCT/IT2007000191, PCT/IT200700191, PCT/IT7/000191, PCT/IT7/00191, PCT/IT7000191, PCT/IT700191, US 8151971 B2, US 8151971B2, US-B2-8151971, US8151971 B2, US8151971B2|
|Inventors||Nicola Baldanza, Giordano Gorrieri, Nicola Giuliani|
|Original Assignee||Kpl Packaging S.P.A.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (20), Referenced by (9), Classifications (8), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The invention relates to an apparatus or device that is particularly suitable for forming a continuous and cadenced flow of groups of rolls of toilet paper or of hand towels or kitchen wipes, coming from the log-saw line, and hence single, or coming from packaging machines, such as pre-packed articles of manufacture, to be fed with the right orientation to a continuous and high-production bag-filling machine, for example, of the type described in the European patent application No. EP 1.535.843 filed in the name of the present applicant or to any other machine arranged downstream.
Currently, plants are known for feeding to a bag-filling machine groups of rolls of paper coming from a production line or from packaging lines. The rolls are usually arranged with their axes horizontally and in single file and in contact with one another. The rolls are rotated through ninety degrees about an axis that is horizontal and orthogonal thereto. The rotation is performed by a carousel with horizontal axis, equipped with blades of length correlated to the dimensions of the products to be treated, which pick up the rolls from the feed line and raise them, subjecting them to a rotation of 90° about the axis of said carousel, so as to set the rolls with a vertical axis and feed them in an upper station, where the rolls themselves are accumulated in a pre-set amount and then are moved away in the right phase by a pusher that operates parallel to the axis of the carousel or else by a pusher that operates with a movement orthogonal to the axis of said carousel and when this is moving, so as to eliminate any dead times.
This latter solution is suited for continuous-cycle operation but has speed limitations due to the friction of mutual detachment of the rolls when they are gripped by the blades of the raising carousel and to the friction between blades and rolls when the latter accumulate in the upper station, with the risk of being damaged or tipped over forwards by the thrust of said blades. Said blades are usually in a fixed radial position with respect to the carousel.
As an alternative to the above systems, the rolls, either single or pre-packaged and arranged with horizontally oriented axes, are caused to perform a descending movement by exerting a thrust and by gravity within guides shaped like the sector of a circle and having a curvature of ninety degrees, at the end of which the rolls are arranged with their axes set vertically and are moved away by a reciprocating pusher, which transfers them into an accumulation station, from which the groups of rolls are then moved away by continuous pushers, constituted, for example, by pusher cross members moved by parallel conveyors. Also this solution has limits due to the friction of mutual detachment of the rolls when they are moved away by the reciprocating pusher and limits due to the cyclic nature of operation of said pusher in so far as the flow of the rolls must stop both during the travel of the pusher forwards and during its return.
Consequently, the known art does not teach methods and apparatuses capable of handling the rolls delicately and prearranging them in a dynamic and fast way for feeding a continuous-operation and high-production bag-filling machine. The known art does not even teach solutions for a rapid adaptation of the means to the change of format of the products and to the number of the rows of said products that are to be treated each time.
The object of the invention is to solve or reduce at least some of the above drawbacks of the prior art machines.
According to one embodiment, the device includes: an advancement conveyor for feeding said products; downstream of said advancement conveyor, a carousel rotating on a substantially horizontal rotation shaft; an exit conveyor for receiving products from said carousel; wherein said carousel is provided with L-shaped stalls including blades arranged to cyclically pass between corresponding supports on which said products are fed by said advancement conveyor, in order to raise said products from said supports, rotate them and feed them to said exit conveyor; wherein said stalls are pivotally mounted on said carousel; and wherein said stalls are subject to a controlled oscillation with respect to said carousel such that, when said products are in a vertical position on said exit conveyor, the stalls are caused to oscillate backwards with respect to the carousel.
In an embodiment the device is suitable for rotating groups of rolls, such as tissue paper rolls by 90° around a substantially horizontal and transversal axis. The device can be designed to rotate incoming rolls, which are oriented with substantially horizontal axes arranged parallel to the advancement direction, such that they exit from the machine in an upwardly oriented position, i.e. with the axes of the rolls in a substantially or nearly vertical orientation.
In a preferred embodiment said supports are arranged in pairs, each pair of supports being aligned with a corresponding plurality of said stalls circumferentially arranged around said carousel. In an alternative embodiment a single support rather than a pair of supports is provided for each product. The support is shaped such that the stalls can pass with their projecting blades through a slot formed in the support.
In one embodiment, said carousel is divided into axially aligned sections, each section being provided with a set of circumferentially arranged stalls, and each section being aligned with respective supports for said products.
In one embodiment the exit conveyor includes a set of lower conveyor belts, such as for example pairs of conveyor belts, one pair for each line of parallel products, which are downloaded from said carousel. In a preferred embodiment the exit conveyor comprises a pair of substantially parallel and preferably substantially horizontal conveyor devices, arranged one on top of the other, the products being fed between said superposed conveyor devices and advancing in contact with said superposed conveyor devices. This embodiment is particularly suitable for handling rolls of paper. More stable products, such as packs of folded napkins or the like might be released on a lower conveyor and the upper conveyor can be dispensed with.
In one embodiment, said carousel supports a plurality of sets of said stalls, the stalls of each set being supported by a respective common shaft, said shafts co-acting with a control member, which controls the oscillation of said shafts. In a practical embodiment, said control member controls the oscillation of the shafts as a function of the angular displacement of said carousel. In a particularly advantageous embodiment, said control member includes a cam and follower arrangement. Preferably, a cam follower is provided for each one of a plurality of oscillating shafts arranged parallel to the rotation axis of said carousel and on each of which a plurality of said stalls are fitted, such as to oscillate integrally with said shaft around the axis of said shaft under the control of the cam follower. The cam follower runs along a cam profile, such as a cam profile in the shape of a channel, when the shaft to which said cam follower is connected rotates around the rotation axis of the carousel.
In one embodiment said stalls are replaceable as the format of the products to be treated varies. Similarly, said supports or pairs of supports can be replaceable as the format of the products to be treated varies. The format of the product can include for example one or more of the dimensions of the product, such as the diameter, the length, the width, or the height thereof, or the number of products simultaneously fed at each advancement step.
In one embodiment the carousel, said supports and said exit conveyor are mounted on a slider, which is movable on transverse guides in a direction substantially parallel to the axis of rotation of said carousel, to align circumferentially arranged stalls and corresponding supports for said products with a center line of said advancing conveyor.
According to one aspect, the invention provides a device for forming a continuous and cadenced flow of groups products, including: an advancement conveyor for feeding said products; downstream of said advancement conveyor, a carousel rotating on a substantially horizontal rotation shaft; an exit conveyor for receiving products from said carousel; wherein said carousel is provided with seats, for receiving said products fed by said advancement conveyor in order to raise said products, rotate them and feed them to said exit conveyor; wherein said seats are pivotally mounted on said carousel; and wherein said seats are subject to a controlled oscillation with respect to said carousel such that, when said products are in a vertical position on said exit conveyor, the seats are caused to oscillate with respect to said carousel in a direction opposite to the direction of rotation of said carousel. The oscillation of said seats is controlled as a function of the angular position of the carousel, such that when a product is transferred from the carousel to said exit conveyor the seat is controllably pivoted in a direction opposite the angular advancement of the carousel, avoiding an interference with the product. The product can thus be advanced smoothly along the exit conveyor without excessive accelerations being imparted to the product. This results in a smooth and careful handling of the products without reducing the overall output rate of the device.
In a preferred embodiment said seats or stalls are L-shaped, with a base and a blade projecting from said base, said products being lifted by said blade and being rotated to rest on said base whilst they are lifted by said rotating carousel towards said exit conveyor. In one embodiment the seats can be snap-fitted on appendages or guides oscillatingly supported by said carousel. Snap-fitting allows quick and easy replacement of the seats according to the product format.
Herein after reference will be specifically made to articles or products in the forms of individual or pre-packed rolls. However, as stated above, the machine according to the invention can be suitable to handle also different kind of items and articles of manufacture, especially tissue paper articles, whenever it is required to rotate them by 90° and feed them to a station or machine arranged downstream.
In an embodiment of the invention the rolls coming from the production line or from pre-packaging lines, are singularized, i.e. separated one from the other, and arranged alongside one another in the number envisaged, by a conveyor with pusher cross members, which feeds the rolls on pairs of parallel supports. Downstream of said supports is arranged a carousel with a horizontal rotation axis. Said carousel is provided with blades. Said blades move cyclically and in the right phase between and underneath said pairs of supports, to lift the product positioned thereon and to set it with its own axis vertically between a pair of substantially parallel conveyors, set above one another and extending horizontally.
In one embodiment, the lower conveyor is formed by the top branch of pairs of conveyor belts run over the circumference of said carousel and over parallel pulleys located downstream of said carousel. In one embodiment, the top conveyor is formed by pairs of belts, which are motor-driven at the same speed as the pairs of bottom conveyor belts.
In one embodiment, said raising blades are mounted on the carousel, with the possibility of oscillation by a lever arm that co-operates with a cam in such a way that, when the rolls are in a vertical position and already properly inserted between the conveyors set above one another, horizontal and parallel, said blades perform an oscillation backwards so as to disengage, without interference with the rolls raised by them that continue to be fed by said horizontal conveyors.
As the format of the products varies, means are provided for adjusting the distance of the conveyor that singularizes the rolls and sets them alongside one another from the pairs of supports from which the blades of the carousel lift the products, in order to replace the blades of the carousel rapidly, to adjust the distances between said pairs of supports and the blades of the carousel and the corresponding pairs of conveyor belts.
In one embodiment, the complex including the carousel, the pairs of supports and the corresponding pairs of conveyor belts, is mounted on a slide that is mobile on guides set horizontal and orthogonal to the flow of the rolls. Means are provided for enabling translation of said complex for the purpose of aligning the number of its active channels, whether this be even or odd, with the center line of the conveyor set upstream, on which the rows of rolls arranged alongside one another are centered. In one embodiment of the invention, the groups of rolls arranged alongside one another and cadenced that come off said complex, are grouped together even set one after the other in the pre-set amount, by means of at least one dosing device, by which said groups of rolls will be fed to the continuous bagging machine with the right cadence and in phase.
Further advantageous features of the invention are described here below with reference to one embodiment of a device according to the invention, and in the enclosed claims.
Further features of the invention, and the advantages deriving therefrom, will appear more clearly from the ensuing description of a preferred embodiment thereof, illustrated purely by way of non-limiting example in the attached drawing, wherein:
Provided downstream of said feed assembly is the first component of the device according to the invention. Said device includes a horizontal surface for receiving the rolls, the upstream portion of which is formed by the top branch of a belt conveyor 1 or of four laterally arranged belt conveyors 1. Said belt conveyor or belt conveyors 1 are motor-driven by a motor 101 in the direction and with the appropriate speed for feeding the products in a forward motion. Downstream of said conveyor belt 1, said roll receiving surface is further formed by a horizontal surface, prearranged in such a way that said rolls can slide thereon with a limited friction, given that said surface. In some embodiments, said surface includes a fixed first portion 2 and a movable second portion 102. Said movable portion 102 can slide under the first portion and can project therefrom with a length that can vary as the format of the rolls to be treated varies. For said purpose the movable second portion 102 of said surface is fixed on a carriage 3, which, with appropriate adjustment means, can be made to slide on horizontal guides 103 aligned with respect to the direction of advance of the rolls.
Above the initial part of the belt conveyor or conveyors 1 and parallel to their first axis of entrainment, a roller 4 or some other suitable conveying means is provided, which is actuated by a motor 104. The distance between said roller 4, or other suitable conveying means, and the underlying conveyor or conveyors 1 can be adjusted with suitable means, for adapting to rolls of different format, which, by the combined and synchronized action of these bottom conveying means 1 and top conveying means 4, are made to advance in the direction of the surface 2.
Whilst advancing in the direction of the surface 2, before the rear face of the rolls abandons the conveyor or conveyors 1, said rolls are in the right phase reached by a pusher. In one embodiment, said pusher is one of a plurality of pusher cross members 105 of an endless conveyor, such as a conveyor formed by two parallel and endless chains or toothed belts 5, arranged sideways of the complex 1, 2, 102 and entrained on pairs of pinion wheels or pulleys 205, 305. In one embodiment the first of said pairs of pinion wheels or pulleys is in a static position, whilst the pair 305 is mounted on the carriage 3 that carries also the first pair of pulleys or pinion wheels 405 for entrainment of the bottom branch of said chains or toothed belts 5. The latter forms a zigzag path also as a result of the entrainment over a pair of pulleys 505 synchronized with one another by means of a shaft 6 connected to a motor drive 7.
It is clear from the above that by adjusting the longitudinal position of the carriage 3 the tension of the chains or belts 5 will remain unvaried and that, together with the length of the projecting part of the surface portion 102, also the length of said chains or belts 5 varies, the top branch of said chains or belts 5 traveling at a height appropriately greater than the one at which the complex 1, 2, 102 is operating. In this way the pusher cross members 105 will act on a sufficiently wide part of the rear face of the rolls R.
The rolls fed by the means set upstream are picked up by the pusher cross members 105 and as they move along the surface of sliding 2, 102, they are arranged alongside one another in mutual contact by the action of adjustable guides 8 (see
Said rolls R can be individual rolls or pre-packaged rolls. In the latter case they are fed in phase to the above-described device by conveyors entrained around rollers with horizontal axes and which are set above one another and motor-driven in a synchronous way. Said conveyors are known per se and are not described in detail herein.
In one embodiment, each pair of arms 10 is equipped with nut screws 14 that co-operate with a screw 114 having right-hand and left-hand threads. In one embodiment said threads have differentiated pitches. Said screw 114 is rotatably supported at the ends by side walls 213, 213′ of the frame 13. By means of said screw it is possible to adjust the distance between the pairs of supports 9 in a self-centering way with respect to the longitudinal middle axis of said frame 13, to adapt said distance to the diameter of the rolls R to be treated and to cause said rolls to be in substantial lateral contact with one another when they arrive on the supports 9.
If the rows of rolls that come off the first feed unit are in even number, for example, four (or two), as illustrated, for example, in
For this purpose, as shown in
Provided downstream of the arms 10 with the interchangeable supports 9 is arranged said carousel 19. The carousel 19 has an axial shaft 119, which is set horizontal and orthogonal to said supports 9 and rotatably supported by the side walls 213, 213′ of the frame 13. The shaft 119 is made to rotate with a continuous movement in the clockwise direction as viewed in
In one embodiment the carousel 19 comprises two end or side-wall disks 21, 121, of equal diameter, which are fitted to the shaft 119 of said carousel. Peripheral means with low coefficient of friction provided on said disks 21, 121, rotatably support the ends of a plurality of shafts 22. In the example shown said shafts 22 are eight in number, but it should be understood that the number of said shaft can vary according to the requirements and design. Said shafts 22 are parallel to the shaft 119 of said carousel 19 and are set at equal angular distances apart from one another.
Mounted in the space comprised between said two side-wall disks 21, 121 are pairs of parallel and equal disks 23, 23′, 23″, 23′″, as shown in
Since said pairs of intermediate disks 23, 23′, 23″, 23′″ must be centered with said pairs of supports 9, each said pair of disks is equipped with a set of nut screws 25. In the example shown there are three such nut screws 25 for each disk. In one embodiment, said nut screws are set at angular distances apart from one another. In one embodiment, said nut screws are arranged at equal distances from the shaft 119.
Said nut screws 25 co-operate with corresponding screws 125, which are rotatably supported by the side-wall disks 21, 121. Said screws 125 have right-hand and left-hand threads. In one embodiment, said right-hand and left-hand threads have differentiated pitches. Said right-hand and left-hand threads co-operate with said nut screws 25 to produce the necessary mutual self-centering displacement between the pairs of intermediate disks 23, 23′, 23″, 23′″.
One end of each screw 125 projects from the disk 21 that is opposite to the one from which the shaft 119 of the carousel 19 comes out. The projecting ends of said screws are connected by means of a positive transmission of motion 26 with pinion wheels and chain or with toothed pulleys and belt with double toothing, to a toothed pulley or pinion wheel 27 fitted on a bushing 28. Said bushing 28 is mounted so that it can turn on the shaft 119 (
As can be understood from what has just been described with reference to
When the carousel 19 starts to turn around its horizontal axis and the motor assembly 33 is stationary, the input shaft 229 of the epicyclic reducer 29 is also stationary, whilst the body of said epicyclic reducer is brought into rotation by the shaft 119 of the carousel through the transmission of motion 31. Therefore, the output shaft 129 of the reducer 29 is actuated with a speed of rotation and in a direction such that the complex 127 and 27 connected thereto through the transmission 227 rotates in the same direction and at the same speed as the shaft 119 of the carousel, as if it were fitted to said shaft 119. Consequently the transmission of motion 26 remains stationary and the screws 125 remain stationary in the angular position into which they were brought in the preceding step of adjustment and adaptation to the format of the rolls R to be treated.
On each lever 34 a corresponding L-shaped stall 35 can be mounted. The levers 34 are arranged such that said stalls can be easily and rapidly mounted and replaced as the format of the rolls to be treated changes (as will be described hereinafter). Said stalls are L-shaped. Each stall 35 has a base 135 which, when the stall 35 is mounted on the corresponding lever 34, rests on said lever 34. Furthermore each stall 35 is provided with a blade 235. The stalls are mounted on the levers 34 such that when the stall is set on the end that juts out further of the corresponding lever 34, said stall is open in the direction of rotation of the carousel 19. Thus when the carousel rotates each stall is able to travel with its blade 235 between a pair of supports 9, to pick up the roll thereon, which is fed on said supports in the right phase as disclosed hereinabove.
As illustrated in the sequence of
The active portion of the lower one of said conveyors is formed by the top branch of pairs of belts 36 entrained in grooves 37 (
By appropriate adjustment means said top conveyor 39 is height-adjustable. The distance between the belts forming said conveyor 39 is also adjustable for adaptation to the various formats of rolls to be treated, as has been said for the pairs of supports 9 and for the pairs of disks 23 to 23′″.
In one embodiment, as illustrated in
After the roll has been properly inserted between the motor-driven conveyors 36 and 39, the stall 35 is caused to oscillate such as to move away from the roll without its blade 235 interfering with the rolls that proceed between said conveyors 36 and 39 as the carousel 19 continues to turn. Afterwards said stalls are temporarily withheld in the resting position and then are gradually prearranged for a new co-operation with the pairs of supports 9 in order to repeat the cycle described.
Designated by 42 in
By exerting thrust on the lever arm 345 of the lever 45, it is possible to disengage said lever from the pin 44 and remove the stall to replace it with another stall adapted to the format of rolls to be treated. The sets of stalls used according to the different formats of the rolls differ from one, another substantially as regards the length and/or the shape of the blades 235, which may, for example, have a U-shaped cross section and may terminate with one end open at the front and equipped with sides, which is set on the T-shaped head 535 of the base 135, said head 535 being provided with holes, which line up with corresponding side holes of said end of the blade and in which it is possible to insert coupling pins 49.
With this arrangement, by acting on said screw 53 it is possible to transmit to the pulleys 38 the same self-centering movement of adjustment of the distance apart that is transmitted to the pairs of disks 23 to 23′″ of the carousel 19. For this purpose, the offtake 432 shown in
As can be seen in
The products that come off the conveyors 36 and 39 can be fed to any processing device, for which such a cadenced feed of vertically oriented rolls is required.
If the rolls are to be fed to a continuous and high-speed bag-filling machine, said rolls that come off the conveyors 36 and 39 are fed to at least one dosing device of any suitable type, which groups them together even one after the other and in the right phase feeds them to said bag-filling machine.
The dosing device can be of any type suitable for this purpose, for example, of the type that is now illustrated with reference to
For this purpose, the area where the conveyors 39 and 57 meet up with one another is staggered with respect to the bottom corresponding area of the conveyors 36 and 58. The conveyor 39 derives, for example, its motion from the conveyor 57 through a positive transmission of motion 59. Provided downstream and in coplanar alignment with the conveyors 57, 58 set above one another and at the right distance from the latter is another pair of similar conveyors 57′ and 58′ with corresponding motors 157′ and 158′. Said further pair of conveyors move at the same speed and in the same direction of advance as the products. Between these two pairs of conveyors the proper dosing device is arranged.
Said dosing device comprises a pair of conveyors 60, 60′, which may be belt conveyors and/or roller conveyors or conveyors of an equivalent type, set above one another and with corresponding motor drives 160, 160′. Said conveyors 60, 60′, with their internal branches, are set in the same plane as and spanning the conveyors 58, 58′ and 57, 57′, which move upon command in the same direction and at the same speed. Between said conveyors 60, 60′ and the conveyors set upstream and downstream there is provided a sufficient distance for passage of one of the cross members 62, 62′ of pairs of toothed-belt or chain positive conveyors 61, 61′, with corresponding motor drives 161, 161′. Said motor drives are electrically connected to one another, so that said cross members can travel in synchronism in the space between said conveyors 60, 60′, in the same direction of advance as the products and according to the law described in what follows.
At the start of each cycle, a pair of cross members 62, 62′ is stationary in a position corresponding to the initial portion of the intermediate conveyors 60, 60′, which are also stationary, so as to arrest the flow of the products R fed by the conveyors 57 and 58. In such way said products accumulate between these conveyors without being damaged by rubbing against the latter. Once formation of the pre-set group of products between the conveyors 57, 58 set upstream is completed, the intermediate conveyors 60, 60′ and 61, 61′ are activated so that the conveyors 61, 61′ remove the front cross members 62, 62′ and the conveyors 60, 60′ contribute to the transfer of said group of products from the conveyors 57, 58 set upstream to the ones 57′, 58′ set downstream, which advance in the same direction and at the same speed.
In this step, according to the length of the group of products to be transferred, the conveyors 61, 61′ are actuated with the right ramps of deceleration and then of possible acceleration in such a way that, when said group of products is about to pass beyond the areas of conjunction between the conveyors 58, 60 and 57, 60′, a first pair of cross members 62, 62′ is positioned in the rear part of said group of products and accompanies it in the unloading movement between the conveyors 57′, 58′ set downstream, whilst a second pair of cross members 62, 62′ moves in front of the product that follows the group of products that has been unloaded and stops in the initial part of said intermediate conveyors 60, 60′, to arrest said product that follows and to enable formation of a new group of products, as mentioned previously. As the format of the products varies, appropriate means (not shown) are provided for adjusting the height of the upper conveyors 39, 57, 57′, 60′, 61′ and to adjust also the position of side walls (not shown), which guide the flow of products longitudinally.
As shown in
The upper conveyor 39 is inclined in the position indicated with a dashed line and designated by 39′ and is appropriately raised together with the upper conveyor 57, which can also be inclined upwards once again with an oscillation on the motor drive shaft so that the new flow of products coming from the conveyor 63 will advance towards the doser only by the action of the bottom conveyors 63 and 58.
It remains understood that the description refers to a preferred embodiment of the invention, to which numerous constructional variations and modifications can be made, without thereby departing from the concept underlying the invention, as set forth above, and as is defined and claimed hereinafter. In the claims, the references appearing in brackets are purely indicative and in no way limit the scope of protection of the claims.
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|U.S. Classification||198/418.5, 198/411, 198/408|
|Cooperative Classification||B65G47/252, B65G29/00|
|European Classification||B65G29/00, B65G47/252|
|Jan 12, 2012||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: KPL PACKAGING S.P.A., ITALY
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:BALDANZA, NICOLA;GORRIERI, GIORDANO;GIULIANI, NICOLA;REEL/FRAME:027545/0562
Effective date: 20081118
|Oct 6, 2015||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4